I was watching a local news station the other night when a segment aired about a man who had applied to thousands of jobs online with no result. His confidence had been diminished; he had no idea what to do next. He blamed the poor economy, saying it was nearly impossible to get noticed.
Although I recognize the severity of today’s job market, I found myself shaking my head at the man, wondering why he had not yet learned better. The fact is, as I’ve learned through trial and error, the Internet is only so useful in finding a job. Yes, employers post ads all the time, but the process is more complicated — and, sadly, more unpromising — than it looks. This is something even my generation, a tech-savvy generation, is still coming to grips with.
When applying through a website like Craigslist, more likely than not, you are one of hundreds (possibly thousands) of applicants applying for the same job. You’re odds of getting noticed are more dependant on where you land on the employer’s inbox than your qualifications as a worker. What’s more, getting hired is very closely connected to making an impression on your potential employer — something hard to do online.
So, although the Internet is an amazing entity that is useful in a million ways, the best way to find a job is still through networking out in the real world. Start seeking out familiar faces, such as relatives and friends, and let them help you with the process; don’t view as an imposition, but rather an exercise in relationship building. It’s more work than just sounding out an email with a resume attached, but, as my roommate Charlie always says, “You gotta get off your butt to get shit done.” Well said, Chuck.